Ten experiences to fall in love with Luang Prabang
Paradise awaits you in Laos
Haw Pha Bang Temple, Luang Prabang Royal Palace © Getty Images
Declared Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995, Luang Prabang It is a true dream: 33 Buddhist temples, quiet streets composed of buildings of French colonial architecture, many shops, restaurants, hotels and exquisite cafes on the banks of the Mekong; bicycles as the main means of transport and an unparalleled peace are the claims of that little gem so little known of Laos.
If you plan to visit it, these are the ten things you cannot miss. Aim!
1. REACH IT BY BOAT, BY MEKONG
Reaching Luang Prabang by land, surely part of the most interesting experiences one can live in this country. After passing the border that separates the north of Thailand from Laos by the little town of Huay Xai, the best way to get to Luang Prabang is to make a boat trip through the Mekong.
Mekong River © Osiris Martínez
The trip is long, very long. It is divided into two days of about 7 hours a day, and the stop that the boats make for the overnight traveler is made in a small town without great interest called Pakbeng. Slow ships are rudimentary and you have to arm yourself with patience to go down the Mekong River Until you reach port.
Some companies organize luxury cruises that, for a much higher price, add another color to the crossing, making it a much more enjoyable trip. He Luang Say Cruise It is one of them. The crossing is done in a luxurious ship, with a succulent buffet and absolute comfort.
The service is faultless and the trip includes a stop to visit villages before arriving at the destination. The night that includes the crossing is done in the Luang Say Lodge, a real wonder on the banks of the Mekong. Nature, peace and gastronomy without equal complete an experience that already announces the delicacy of our protagonist: the city of Luang Prabang
2. STAYING AT THE MEKONG RIVER VIEW HOTEL
Located on the banks of the Mekong, this small complex of Colonial architecture It constitutes a true time travel for the guest. The rooms, taken care of with absolute care, they maintain the essence of the luxury of yesteryear and the owner of the hotel, Urban, is an old man of impressive elegance who knows how to treat his clients with an unparalleled dedication.
Breakfast with a view, wonderful! © Osiris Martínez
Every morning, during breakfast on a terrace overlooking the Mekong full of baguettes French deli local and high quality jams and pastries, Urban greets each person, table by table, and does not hesitate to recommend places to his guests.
It also organizes wine tastings once a week to create bonds and share a good time. Rest in that small hotel is an absolute success. Of course, better to book early, it is already quite successful.
3. WAKE UP TO ATTEND THE TAK BAT CEREMONY
The Alms Giving Ceremony or Tak Bat it is from the most sacred Buddhist traditions of Laos and one of the prettiest rituals in Southeast Asia.
Every morning, at dawn, the city monks walk the streets of Luang Prabang and silently collect the offerings of the inhabitants and tourists. Worth get up early to attend and participate in that wonderful daily act.
Luang Prabang you have to live it © Osiris Martínez
4. SEE NIGHT FROM THE TOP OF THE MOUNT PHOUSI
Located at 100 meters high, the top of this sacred hill, which is located in the center of the city and just in front of the Wat Chom templegive away the best views of Luang Prabang.
Watching the sunset from there is a sight to behold: one can see every corner of the city, as well as the Mekong and Nam Kham rivers.
One of Luang Prabang's best sunsets © Getty Images
5. RENT A BIKE AND RIDE THE CITY
Luang Prabang is a paradise for Bicycle lovers. Its quiet streets are filled with pedal and two-wheelers and everyone uses them to tour their points of interest and visit some of their 33 temples Some safety pins? Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Manorom, Royal Palace and Wat Chom Si They are the most famous.
Wat Xieng Thong © Getty Images
6. WALK FOR YOUR MARKETS
During the day (or rather early in the morning: the heat frightens the vendors who pick up their positions as temperatures rise!), the fresh produce market surrounding the Royal Palace It is a festival of smells, spices, authentic energy and local people.
When night falls, street food stalls, souvenirs and handicrafts take over and form the famous Night market, one of the biggest tourist attractions of the place.
Night Market © Getty Images
7. TEST THE TRUE GASTRONOMY OF LAOS IN YOUR CALLEJERA FOOD POSTS
Write down some of the dishes you can NOT miss:
- The Laap. It is the most famous dish of Laos: a minced meat salad based on chicken, cow, duck or pork and flavored with fish and lime sauce. A delight!
- Grilled salted fish. You will find dozens of skewers of whole fish, chicken and other grilled meats at very low prices in the street stalls Do not hesitate to try them!
- The famous spicy papaya salad or Spicy Papaya Salad. Citrus, based on lime, green papaya, red onion, coriander, spices, chili, palm sugar ... A bittersweet dream!
- The famous 'Sticky Rice' (or Khao Niao) of Laos. It is what we know as 'glutinous rice', steamed in a kind of traditional straw cone. The best is red rice, although harder to find.
'Sticky Rice' © Osiris Martínez
8. VISIT THE KUANG WATERFALLS IF
Various levels of clear water, surrounded by trees and jungle, ending in natural turquoise pools form this natural paradise.
Located about 25 kilometers from Luang Prabang, the place is a perfect excursion destination if you want to spend the day throwing yourself into the water from some ropes that hang from the trees, bathing or just eating in the wooden snacks that many city dwellers occupy on weekends.
Kuang Si waterfalls © Osiris Martínez
9. VISIT THE CAVES OF THE THOUSAND BUDDHA (PAK OU CAVES)
These small caves on the banks of the Mekong are located 25 km from the city of Luang Prabang. Reaching them by boat is very easy: there are many excursions that include them in your tour and can be hired in the same city.
Its interior is full of statues of Buddhas (about 4,000) of various sizes, most of which are miniatures left by pilgrims.
Pak Ou Caves © Getty Images
10. TAKE CARE OF THE NEW AVANI LUANG PRABANG HOTEL
This recently opened 53 room boutique hotel It is already part of the tops of the 'Top Lists' of accommodation worldwide. Your Bistro restaurant It is a claim in itself for tourists who pass through the city, eager to try some of the dishes that merge the traditional food of the country with the cuisine French
On the other hand, its Spa is already the most famous of Luang Prabang and many clients are people who do not stay at the hotel and visit it exclusively to take one of the massages and care of their acclaimed menu Wellness.
The temple of relaxation © Hotel AVANI Luang Prabang